Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Rangers & Dangers

This is a World Day this week, not just National.

Click HERE to join Terri and the others as we answer questions about parks and wild things.



World Ranger Day - July 31

“A park ranger is a protector. You protect the land from the people, the people from the land, the people from each other and the people from themselves."  Kurt Caswell (author/writer)
As I only know one Park Ranger personally, I will give a Big Shout Out to Garland who works at state parks in South Texas near San Antonio.
1.  Is there a National Park near where you live?  
Yes, just south of us near Natchitoches, Louisiana, known as one of the most beautiful small towns in America, is the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.  We visited the old plantations that make up this park several years ago, but I couldn't find any of my pictures.  There is so much fascinating history in this state!
The following quote is from the website:
"The Cane River region is home to a unique culture; the Creoles. Generations of the same families of owners and workers, enslaved and tenant, lived on these lands for over 200 years. The park tells their stories and preserves the cultural landscape of Oakland and Magnolia Plantations, two of the most intact Creole cotton plantations in the United States."
2.  How many National Parks and which ones have you visited?  Is there one you would really like to visit?
I have no idea how many there are, but I counted having visited at least nine.

In California we visited Yosemite, Red Wood and Big Sur (not sure it's a National Park).
In New Mexico we've seen Carlsbad and Bandelier.

Others are Great Smokey Mountain NP, 

Grand Canyon, and Glacier Bay in Alaska from a ship.  Other than the one mentioned above nearest us, we have also driven through parts of the Kisatchie National Forest in our state many times.

I don't know of any particular park I would choose to see at this time.
3.  The Park Rangers are protectors of the environment, of the wildlife, and visitors in the parks.  Is there someone (human) in your life who you count on as a protector or are you someone's protector?
My human protector is my husband and he has done a wonderful job of it for almost 54 years!  In fact, he brought me the most beautiful bunch of red rose buds Tuesday evening.
4.  Have you ever had an up-close-and-personal experience with a wild animal that you can tell us about?
Only a opossum that gave me quite a start once.
5.  It is certainly an honor to show value to this profession by giving them a day of remembrance.  What is another profession that you like to see honored by a "day" of their own?

Ryan Farms Produce - Dixie, LA
This took some thought, but I decided based on my enjoyment of and the short availability of watermelons, and the heat in which a southern farmer has to work, I would like to see a National Watermelon Growers Day.  It should be set in late July.

6.  On this last day of July, please tell us something about your week so far.

Monday was my volunteer work day as receptionist at our church.  It was quiet and I got some reading done between a few phone calls.
Tuesday I participated in a Tucson Art Academy Online Webinar on how to work with paint values.  I also tried a new healthy and perfectly legal cookie recipe.  They turned out pretty good but not very sweet.  They will at least help satisfy our after-dinner need for something more.
Thursday, I am looking forward to having a couple friends over for afternoon tea.  I may even share one of my cookies.
Have a great rest of your week and be nice to a Park Ranger.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sharing Four Somethings for July

Sharing Four Somethings

It's the end of another month!  How does this happen when I feel like the month has only just begun?

Doing this monthly recap, gives me pause to reflect back on how I might have spent the past 30 days.  Were they constructive at all, or was I just passing time in fruitless endeavors?

I have decided to answer with "BOTH!"

Regardless, here is my list of July Somethings as I join Laurie @ Meditations in Motion.

Something Loved

A couple Friday's ago, Dick and I went to our local Little Theater to see the production of "Mama Mia."  It was a fabulous exhibit of local talent by adults and young people as well.
Image result for shreveport little theatre mamma mia images
Let me just say that these three ladies would give the movie and theater actresses a real run for their money both in their performance and singing.
We loved every minute of this fun-filled evening.

Something Said

This is very personal but it goes to the heart of our almost 54 years of marriage.

As Dick was leaving for the office one morning, he referred to an article he had read and asked simply, "Do I woo you enough?"

Standing at the garage door as he was about to depart might not have been the best of times to pursue this thought provoking question, but alas.  There it was!

My initial response was, "Well I don't require a lot of wooing."

That didn't seem to be what he was looking for, so he continued.  "I mean, do I do enough to let you know how much I love you?"

The conversation continued for a while, but what my ears and heart were left with was a desire from my husband that we not grow apart.  Even after all these years and no apparent conflict going on.

The something said was "let's keep kindling the love and not grow complacent in our relationship."  I needed to hear this, not because I needed his reassurance of loving me, but because I needed to be reminded that it is still important to him.

I need to rehearse this question in my own heart and try to remember that he also needs wooing.

Something Learned

It had been months since I had painted anything that I liked or even thought had possibilities.  I follow an abstract acrylic artist and decided to watch some of his teaching videos.

As a result of his encouraging and informative manner of teaching, I decided to try again this week.

I incorporated some of his suggestions and techniques and was very pleased with the outcome.  So was Dick so it is currently hanging in our dining area.

I needed something large on this 10 ft wall and also wanted something light with colors that would tie into other paintings in the open area.

So what do you think of my end result?

Something Read

I have had difficulty concentrating on a book lately, so my reading has mostly consisted of articles and blogs written by people I admire and respect.

I happened upon a very interesting writer the other day, Shelly at "Deep Roots at Home."  She writes about a variety of issues, but I found this one to be of particular interest.

30 Identifying Marks of a Lady

She sited a recently read book by Miss USA Kristen Wolfe,
Rise Up Princess about revealing your true royal identity, where this list was found.

I plan to give copies of this book to my granddaughters.

Shelly also wrote a very interesting and thought provoking blog post on 
 the common Christian's misconceptions of being gay.

You can read it HERE

To conclude my July recap I must mention that on this day, July 28, 2005 our precious mother went home to be with her Redeemer.  It is still so hard to think of her being away from us and her being in heaven with her Lord, our daddy, and her many family members for 14 years.  Hardly a day passes that we don't think of her and miss her.

She was our example of what it truly means to be a lady.  She embodied all 30 Identifying Marks!

Thank you Mother!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Saturday 9: 3's Company

It's Saturday and time to join Samantha for 

Each week she asks questions based on a popular song from the past.

Do you remember this one from an old 70's TV show?

Come and Knock on Our Door

Saturday 9: Come and Knock on Our Door (1976)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1)  This week's song was the theme to Three's Company, a sitcom that ran for eight seasons.  Were you a fan?

I was not a fan.  I do remember seeing it a time or two, but that's all.  We had young children in the home and chose the shows they saw very carefully.

2)  The Three's Company theme was composed by Joe Raposo, who also wrote the theme to Sesame Street.  Can you recall any of the lyrics to the Sesame Street song?

I'm afraid it's been much too long since I watched that show to remember anything much about it.  Or care.  However, I did enjoy seeing Big Bird and some of the Muppets on the D. C. 4th of July show.

3)  The lyrics to this song invite you to "come and knock on our door."  What's the last door you knocked on (or the most recent doorbell you rang)?

The most recent doorbell would be our own front door bell.  My handyman Hubby had installed a new one and I tested it.  That was my contribution to the project.  See #7!

4)  Three's Company was about three roommates who live together platonically, sharing a two bedroom apartment.  Tell us about a roommate who shared your living quarters.

Many, many moons ago when I was in college, I lived in the home of a precious widow lady.  She already had a teenage girl living there, and we shared a small bedroom with adjoining bath.  Yes, we even shared a double bed.  Floy(ann) was a wonderful roomy and I could not have asked for a sweeter, more understanding person with whom to share a space.

It was on a trip with her to New Orleans that I met my future husband.

5)  Each of the roommates has a profession:  Jack is a cook, Chrissy is a secretary (aka administrative assistant) and Janet is a florist.  When did you last buy flowers?

Several weeks ago when we were in Indiana, we went to the most amazing nursery just across the Michigan line and a mile from our son's house.  I bought an enormous geranium and two ferns.  Though they might be considered more plants than flowers, they are all thriving in the southern heat.

6)  They often meet their neighbor, Larry, at a nearby bar called The Regal Beagle.  What's the name of the establishment where you most recently enjoyed an adult beverage?

My home!  I enjoy an occasional glass of wine at night.

7)  Their meddling landlord was Mr. Roper.  He was cheap, nosy, and very talented at fixing things around the building.  How much are you like Mr. Roper?

Are you frugal?  No, but I do spend wisely and don't do without much of what I want/need.

Nosy?  Curious maybe?  But, no not nosy.

A handy do-it-yourselfer?  Why would I want to be when I married the best of all handyman?

8)  Three's Company was controversial again, more than 15 years after it ceased production.  In March 2001, Nick at Nite re-edited an episode after a viewer called, alerting the network that a bit too much of John Ritter was visible in his blue boxer shorts.  Have you ever called, emailed or written to a TV station to complain?

No I haven't.

9)  Random question -- Is the screen on your cellphone cracked?

No, but a corner of my iPad is.  It isn't bad and doesn't interfere with the viewing portion of the screen.

John Ritter - Death Sept. 11, 2003

Image result for john ritter death

Joyce DeWitt

Image result for joyce dewitt

Suzanne Somers

Image result for Suzanne Somers

How well have you aged since 1976?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Road Trip To Cajun Country

May I suggest that you click on the video below before reading this post.  I think it will set the stage and make it more meaningful.

Amazing Grace in Cajun French

Last week while visiting my sis in South Louisiana, we took a road trip through the back roads to the little town of Breaux Bridge.  It is located between Opelousas and Lafayette deep in Acadiana.

Along the way is the small village of Leonville.  It was settled by free "people of color" living on the beautiful Bayou Teche, and was named after the Catholic priest who built the settlement's first church in 1898.

Just outside this Cajun village we came upon this beautiful old plantation home.  It faces the picturesque, wandering Teche River.

One of the most captivating things to see in South Louisiana are the huge old oak trees draped with Spanish moss.

Notice the old tin roof with its beautiful rusted patina.  This is very characteristic of homes in this part of the state.

The home appears to be empty but it and the grounds are being meticulously maintained.

Nearby are the old servant quarters which are also empty but well maintained.

Leonville, is still a gathering place for Catholic worshipers.

The grotto at St. Leo's Catholic Church in the center of town is a local visitor attraction. Leonville is located on the outskirts of Opelousas, which means that its Cajun roots run deep.

In the village of Cecilia I saw this beautiful new home.

Placed in the middle of rich farmland and strategically between these massive old oak trees, with its wrap-around porches, it harkens back to the old plantation days.

Sadly, these two pictures paint the story of so many rural villages.  As it has for centuries, the farming and cattle industry keep the economy thriving in this part of the state.

Near the town of Arnauldville, is this beautiful old historic French manor so characteristic of many of the plantation homes scattered throughout our state.  This one just happens to be for sale for a meager $800,000.

Evidently, the house has been renovated while keeping many of the original features such as the antique bricks of the entry porch.

The Cottage House to the left of the home is a relatively new structure as is the summer kitchen and the replica pigeonneire on the right side.

This lovely old manor is known as the Stephanie-Martin Duralde House and is on the Historical Registry.  Martin Duralde, a native of Bayonne Biscaye, France and arrived in Louisiana in 1769, was commandant at the Opelousas Post from 1795 to 1803.  He was the leading political figure in all of the southwestern part of the state during the Spanish Era.

Duralde had occupied and developed a 1423 acre tract along the Upper Teche by 1781.  He served as senator for the Attakapas Parish in 1812.  This parish has been divided and renamed and no longer exists as designated at that time.

Duralde's daughter Clarissa married W. C. C. Claiborne in 1806, then governor of Louisiana who was responsible for the naming and creation of the original parish districts.

After Duralde's death in 1822, the property was sold to a fellow Frenchman, the wealthiest man in southwest Louisiana at that time, who expanded the holdings to some 50,000 acres.  In 1882, in a bankruptcy sale, the property was sold and continued to change hands until the most recent family purchased it in 1997.  It is now a meager 17 acres.

Louisiana Cajun History lesson:

The Attakapas were aborigines who were native and some of the most ancient tribes of southwestern and southeastern Louisiana.  Their traditions date back to the time of the prehistoric mammoth. The Attakapas is one of six linguistic bands to inhabit Louisiana.

The first Europeans arrived in Louisiana in the 1730s, and they were predominantly French or of French descent.
In the 1760s and 1780s, the area received a sizable influx of Acadian immigrants, who had been deported from their homes in Nova Scotia and thus the Acadian heritage that makes this such a rich and fascinating culture.

It would certainly be worth your while to tour our diverse state and especially the Great River Road across the south and central parts of Louisiana.  And don't forget to include gaining a few pounds on the delectable Cajun cooking.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Cousins, Aunts & Uncles

Terri chose two subjects from this week's National Day Calendar for this week's Medley.

Click HERE to join us for today's questions and answers.

Family is important to all of us so let's talk about
cousins and aunts and uncles today. 



National Cousins Day July 24



National Aunt and Uncle's Day July 26


1.  What can you tell us about your cousins, please, or someone who is close like a cousin?

Since my mother was the youngest of ten children, and our dad the youngest of two, most of my cousins were older than me.

This picture was taken in 1951 and is of my grandmother with the cousins who attended this family reunion.  Mary Alice is to my right and behind her is Jackie.

Jackie and Mary Alice were our closest cousins on our mother's side.  Mary Alice was only a year older than me and died when she was only 19.  Jackie was four years older.  My aunt gave me one of Mary Alice's evening gowns after her death which I wore for homecoming and various competitions.  Jackie let me borrow her wedding gown when I got married.  How special was that!  Both of them will always be very dear to me. Although Jackie and I don't get together as often as we'd like, we remain close.

On my dad's side, I have three cousins and we have always been close as well. Mike and Jerry tolerated their younger, girly cousins quite well and we have wonderful memories.  Sue and my youngest sister are closer in age.  We don't see each other very often but we do stay in touch.

2.  Do you still see your cousins and will you contact them on National Cousins Day?

As stated above, we don't see each other nearly as often as we'd like.  We paternal cousins were together most recently at the funeral of Sue's oldest daughter last year.  It is sad, that we wait until a tragedy to get together.

I will be sure to contact my cousins on our special day.

3.  Terri had a favorite aunt and uncle she will tell us about.  How about you?

I have written about my favorite aunt several times.  I loved all my aunts dearly but Aunt Thyra took a special interest in me at an early age and I admired her greatly.

I had eight uncles and loved all of them in a unique way, some more than others.  Uncle Desmond would probably be my favorite because he was Jackie and Mary Alice's dad and we spent the most time with them.  And, I always thought he was so handsome.

4.  Did/does your family have reunions and can you tell us about them?

My sisters and I got most of our immediate family together three years ago.  But, with all our kids living busy lives, and neither of mine living close by, getting them all together is a major undertaking.  We are still hoping to try again in a couple years.

Gin and I joined our Lazenby cousins and their families for a reunion a few years ago.

5.  If you have children, are they enjoying relationships with their cousins, aunts, uncles?

As I said, both of my children live in different parts of the country and no, they don't enjoy relationships with their cousins, aunts and uncles except through social media.  Sad but the way things are.

6.  Tell us something random about your week so far.

So far, my week has been very quiet and slow and the rest of the week should be about the same.

I do plan to get the paints and easel out this afternoon and see what I can create.

Tomorrow, I will have a blog post on a couple old plantations I saw while on a road trip in south Louisiana with my sis last week, so be sure and check back.

I hope you have a most enjoyable week.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

And You Are?

And You Are?

This simple question is a gracious, Southern way of drawing someone new into a conversation. With a warm smile and inclusive tone of voice, it makes a visitor to a group feel welcome.  However, with a smirk and accusatory tone of voice, “And you are!” can have the opposite affect on someone. Either way, it is a question that can cause one to evaluate their true identity or at least the one they want to present. 

And you are?

Through the years I have held multiple titles that describe who I am.  For almost 75 years I’ve been known as a daughter; for 54 years I have been wife; for 50 years I’ve been mother.  I am also sister, Bibby, Aunt Bibby, teacher, consultant, coordinator, bus driver, speaker, vocalist, and friend. I have held official work titles such as retail sales person, Preschool Music Specialist, Regional Chief Facilities Officer, Administrative Assistant, and Financial Aid Officer.  My current title is “retired.”

Our identity can be defined as simply as our name.  To most of my family and friends, I have always been Libby. There were occasions when my parents used Elizabeth Claire and I felt my identity was definitely on the line.  But, when they or my husband, sisters and closest friends say “Lib,” I know all is well. 

Even with all these titles and identities, I have struggled at times with knowing what my purpose really was at the time.   Have you been there too?

We are so busy being that person with a particular title and yet we aren’t sure who we really are and what our purpose is in and out of that role. 

And you are?

Who I am, who you are is so much more than these things though isn’t it.  Who you are, the way you think about yourself, or the way you’re viewed by others all play a part in your identity.  Your character, uniqueness, and distinct personality combine to communicate who you are to others around you. 

I am a child of God!

As a follower of Jesus Christ, my identity is found in Him. My identity is truly based on what the Creator says about His creation. 

His Word says that I am in Christ.  He uses words like adopted, redeemed, and forgiven. There are multiple verses that declare that I was made in His image, that I am to have His likeness, that I was loved and planned for before I was conceived. 

Our true identity as Christ-followers is based on the truth that Almighty God created us to reflect His image to the world that desperately needs that image, and to follow His purpose for our individual lives.  When our identity is based on the truth of God’s Word, we can know with certainty who we are meant to be. 

Based on the truth of God’s Word, we can embrace who we are in all the varying roles of our life and accomplish what God has planned for us. 

And You Are?

If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then your identity and purpose is uniquely designed to be like Him. 

Don’t allow the world to define and determine your feelings and insecurities about who you are.  You can KNOW who you are and walk in that truth. 

So, the next time someone looks at you and asks, “And you are?”, you can boldly identify yourself as a chosen, redeemed, forgiven follower of the Living God.